Water industry: draft guidance to Ofwat for water and sewerage connections charges

Closed 22 Jul 2016

Opened 10 Jun 2016


Water and sewerage Undertakers have a duty to allow new connections to be made to existing water and sewerage networks, including for new housing development.

The Water Industry Act 1991 provides for Undertakers to charge for new connections to the network, and for associated work. Since coming into force, the legislation has been interpreted differently by Undertakers. This has impacted upon customers, in particular developers, but connection charges can also apply to self-builds, self-lay organisations and existing customers wishing to renew their water or waste water pipework.

The Water Act 2014 changes the regime for new connections to improve transparency, stability and competition in the water sector, and to provide greater clarity on charging. The Act includes provisions to remove the complex arrangements for new connections charges and enables Ofwat to set the detail through Charging Rules, which Undertakers must follow when setting their charges for connections. To ensure the Charging Rules are set in line with the government’s policy positions, the Act also places a requirement on government to produce guidance for Ofwat.

Why your views matter

This consultation seeks views from interested parties on the proposed charging guidance to Ofwat on charges for water and sewerage connections.

We are proposing guidance that sits within the four overarching government principles for charging in respect of water and sewerage services:

  • Stable and predictable charges.
  • Transparent and customer focused charging.
  • Fairness and affordability (including to existing and new consumer customers).
  • Environmental protection.


These principles were set out in overarching charging guidance which was published in January 2016.

There are a series of 6 questions on which we would encourage interested parties to provide comments.

The consultation will run from the 10th June 2016 until the 22nd July 2016. Responses via https://consult.defra.gov.uk/water/draft-developer-charging-guidance-to-ofwat are preferred. Alternatively you can send your responses to developerchargingguidance@defra.gsi.gov.uk

Or you can write to:

Charging Guidance Consultation,

Defra's Water Services Team,

Area 3D,

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,

Nobel House,

17 Smith Square,





What happens next

We welcome the views of all interested parties on any aspect of this proposed guidance.

After the consultation has concluded we will publish a summary of the responses received.

We will consider and act upon any feedback, with a view to publishing the Charging Guidance later this summer.


  • Water/water Industry sector
  • House Building Industry


  • House Building and Planning
  • Water Act
  • Water Industry charging